The Pittsburg State University baseball team has begun their season with the UCO First Pitch Classic. The team had a strong showing in the first matchup against Southwestern Oklahoma and faced tough competition versus Oklahoma Baptist.
The start of the 2022 season was set to start on Feb. 4 at Wendell Simmons Field in Edmond, OK, but was postponed due to weather. The games were rescheduled to Feb. 6.
Pitt State faced the Southwestern Oklahoma Bulldogs in the first round of play. The Bulldogs posted a 21-18 record in 2021 and a 17-16 record in the Great American Conference.
The Bulldogs entered the matchup after a 13-6 victory against Missouri Southern on Feb. 1.
The game started off slow with neither team scoring runs in the first three innings of play. Cruz Aranda, senior infielder for Pitt State and construction management major, hit a double to right field but was unsuccessful in securing third base for the Gorillas’ first plate appearance.
During the bottom of the third inning, senior infielder Marc Gonzales scored the first run for the Bulldogs. He scored after hitting a single to left field and advancing from two other Bulldog players’ hits.
Pitt State was unable to answer the Bulldogs through the fourth and fifth inning. At the top of the sixth inning, the Gorillas scored their first points.
Aranda completed the run after a double by Ryan Koval and scored on a double RBI by Garrett McGowan. Ryan Koval, a sophomore outfielder, also scored during senior infielder Garrett McGowan’s double RBI.
The scores from the Gorillas came after two points were scored by the Bulldogs in the bottom of the fourth inning. This left the score at 2-3 at the bottom of the sixth.
Southwest Baptist was unable to respond to the Gorilla’s momentum in the inning and the Gorillas entered the top of the seventh with the momentum.
A second double RBI by Koval brought Quin Reasoner, junior infielder, and Korrey Siracusa, freshman catcher, home. The runs gave Pitt State the lead 4-3 at the bottom of the seventh.
Neither team scored in their next batting innings and the score remained 4-3 at the bottom of the eighth. The Bulldogs got back onto the board with an unearned run by senior utility player Zach Baxley after a poorly passed ball.
Both teams competed hard in the eighth, ninth, and tenth inning. At the top of the tenth inning, McGowan completed a solo home run putting the Gorillas up 5-4. Another run was completed by Aaron Gerdes, junior outfielder, to complete an RBI by senior infielder Austin Bonnel.
The final score of the game was 6-4 after 10 innings. The Gorillas continued their competition in Edmond, OK against Oklahoma Baptist. The Gorillas were unsuccessful in winning the game and fell to the Bison 10-4.
The Gorillas scored first in the bottom of the first inning but failed to match the Bison’s success in the third inning. Oklahoma Baptist’s Ramon Gomez, senior infielder, scored a triple RBI with a hit to left field giving the Bison the momentum.
Pitt State responded with an RBI hit by Aranda to right field. This placed the score at 3-2 in favor of the Bison after three innings.
The score remained the same until a triple RBI by sophomore center Alex Schroeder boosted the Bison lead to four. An RBI by Jose Parga grew the lead further leaving the score at 7-2 at the bottom of the sixth.
The Gorillas responded with a solo home run by Kaden Fowler, senior outfielder. However, Oklahoma Baptist continued to extend their lead.
The game ended with a Bison victory after Schroeder scored a triple RBI for the Bison and Fowler grounded a hit to create a single RBI for the Gorillas. The final score was 10-4 for Oklahoma Baptist.
The Gorillas will continue their season with a home game against Oklahoma Baptist on Feb 15 and a matchup against Wayne State on Feb. 18.